What’s Ahead for Health in 2008

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From the development of a new source of blood cell production, may actually promote tumor growth and/or cause diabetes epidemic may plateau in 2008, predicts John Buse, MD, PhD, chief of the division of endocrinology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and the president of medicine and science at the American Diabetes Association.

“We are starting to see early hints that the extremely rapid increase in the numbers of people with diabetes may have turned the corner,” he says. “I do think that things are improving relatively rapidly.”

As for “diabesity,” the converging epidemic of Plastic Surgery and a plastic surgeon in private practice in Atlanta.

“I think what we are going to see more of in 2008 is a continuing interest in injectables, fillers, toxins, and other noninvasive procedures [to reduce some of the visible signs of aging],” he predicts. “What we are going to see less of are the very complicated and sophisticated face-lift procedures that provide probably the best results, but also require the longest recovery.”

Overall, “men and women will be opting for less in terms of the result and going with injectables because there is no downtime and no recovery time,” he says.

“The other thing that we will see is growth in products to use at home,” he says. “Eventually there may be an effective cream or treatment that would match the injectables and fillers.”

Still, plastic surgeons won’t be going out of business anytime soon. “There are still lots of things that the knife can do that needles and creams can’t,” he says. For example, plastic surgeons will use 2008 as time to work on refining the proper sequencing for body-contouring following eye on the prize in 2008. “I hope we will see another new biologic approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 2008,” she tells WebMD. Specifically, she is referring to tocilizumab (Actemra). This drug blocks an inflammatory chemical known as interleukin-6 (Il-6), and is in final stages of chronic pain condition Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may make the news again in 2008, she says. The use of hormones fell from grace in the summer of 2002 when the U.S. government halted the hormone arm of the heart as we once thought,” she says. Stay tuned.